AJ WDRK :
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
OFFICE QEJNDIAN AFFAIRS ■ - WASHINGTON, D.C.
/ /rim ■ -,if-C
IE Rl A N S AT WORK
CONTENTS OF THE ISSUE OF MARCH 1938
Volume V Number 7
Editorial John Collier 1
The American Indian Sign Language John P . Harrington 8
F. G. Collett Loses Libel Suit Against
"Washington Times" 13
Personal Impressions Of The January 18-20
Navajo Tribal Council Meeting James M. Stewart 16
Rio Grande Watershed Adjustment Program
Is Launched 19
Indian Colony Held To Be "Indian Country" In
Supreme Court Decision Charlotte T. Westwood 22
Gertrude Simmons Bonnin Dies 23
Crafts Of The Papagos 24
A Retiring Council Chairman Writes To Commis-
sioner Collier On The Year' s Work Wesley Poneoraa 28
CCC-ID Work Has Built Up The Idea Of
Cooperation Harvey Le Claire 29
Metlakatla' s Golden Jubilee Early R. Stone 30
Washington In Indian History Arthur C . Parker 31
Visitors At The Washington Office 31
A Missionary Looks At A Trihal Constitution .. Reverend Elmer Burroughs .... 32
Jemez Chapel Re-Dedicated 33
We Serve Henrietta K. Burton 34
Western Shoshone Organizes Sports Program 34
Origin Of The Sacred Buffalo Horn Foolish Bear 35
Organization News 36
Young Yuma Indians Share In Vocational Program
With Others Of Community 37
Bettle Treatment Of Trees At Warm Springs Ben C Kautz 37
Some Comments On The CCC-ID Student
Technician Program 38
Change Of Assignment 38
From CCC-ID Repor ts 39
One of the murals in the Federal Building at Anadarko,
Oklahoma. These were painted hy Kiowa artists: Stephen Mopope,
assisted "by Spencer Asah and James Auchiah.
The photograph was loaned through the courtesy of Oscar
B. Jacobson, of the University of Oklahoma.
A NefL SkS||/k>r Inlaws
f ? f
VOLUAVL E MAR.CH 1. 1936 NUM5ER 7
Members of the Indian and the Appropriation committees
in Congress have again been thinking about the Indian Claims Com-
mission bill. That bill, after passing the Senate, was buried
under a two to one vote on the House floor last June.
To the House Indian Committee there was presented, a
fortnight ago, the record of all Indian claims disposed of by the
Court of Claims since the beginning of Indian affairs. Newspapers
publish from time to time the golden picture of Indian tribal claims
aggregating nearly $1,700,000,000, now in the Court of Claims. To
the Indians a golden picture, to the taxpayers a frightening one;
and it is generally added, and is a fact, that a greater number of
tribal claims, probably equally meritorious, haunt the committee
rooms of Congress, or simply haunt the minds of Indians who have no
means to prosecute them. What appeared in the record submitted to
the House committee?
Final judgments to date, over and above the Government's
counter-claims, have totaled $25,684,042. That is, about one and
five-tenths per cent of the $1,700,000,000 mentioned above. The
total of claims passed to judgment, according to the list, was 97.
Of this total, 63, or 65 per cent of all the suits, resulted in no
yield at all to the Indians. They are recorded in the tabulation
Each of these "dismissed" cases involves a complicated
and a discouraging history. First, the tribe or its helpers got up
the facts. Then a jurisdictional bill was introduced, a department-
al report was filed, hearings were held in the Senate and the House,
and a jurisdictional act was passed and was signed by the President
upon the presumption that real merit existed. Then in every case
the Department of Justice labored long to prepare the Government's
defense. The General Accounting Office toiled one or two or three
years compiling the list of Government counter-claims. Attorneys
for the tribe spent thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars
getting ready the Indians* case. Indians waited, and sometimes did
little else but wait, for the suit's outcome. Then the slow mills
of the Court of Claims commenced to grind, and ground out a dead
zero, and the case was back where it started, waiting a. new juris-
dictional bill and a repetition of the costly operations. However,
the Indian mind was not quite where it started, but was more con-
fused, more cynical or embittered. The jurisdictional bill had been
defectively drawn or had "been rendered ineffective through amend-
ment; or acceptable proof could not be supplied in the court; or a
legal claim had been declared not to exist, but only a moral one.
Such has been the wind-up of 63 out of 97 of the Indian tribal
suits brought to judgment since the beginning.
The Claims Commission, as proposed in the bill which the
House defeated last year, would examine into all tribal claims,
finishing its work within a reasonable time-limit. It would pre-
sent to Congress its record and its finding in each case in turn.
Then Congress would know whether merit existed; whether the claim
was a legal one, hence adjudicable in the Court of Claims; or wheth-
er it was a moral one, hence to be settled by Congress. Congress
would know in advance the total of Government counter-claims; it
would know with practical certainty the total of the sum which in
law or in moral right the Government ought to pay. Final settle-
ment with the tribes could be achieved in fifteen years at the out-
side; where by present metnods centuries must elapse, with costs
running to many millions, and then the final settlement will not
have been attained. Sooner or later, surely, the principles of
the Indian Claims Commission bill will be enacted by Congress.
Here are business figures from two reservations which
live under the Indian Reorganization Act.
At Mescalero Apache in 1935 the cattle income received
by Indians was $18,000. In 1937 it was $101,000. The feed value
produced by Indians in 1935 was $5,000. In 1937 it was $40,500.
To the above, add that in 1935 most of the Mescaleros lived in
hovels and ragged tents near the agency and now nearly all of them
live in good houses out in small communities near the farmlands.
The results initially have been made possible through
government loans (I.E. A. , rehabilitation and live-stock to be re-
paid in kind) totaling $242,200. Of this indebtedness, $58,000
was repaid last year and there are practically no delinquencies.
Included in what the loans have produced are the new houses and
the farm equipment as well as the foundation stock of the Indians.
Outstanding indebtedness, but not delinquent, $184,200.
Increase of annual income $118,500.
That income increase could carry (could pay interest
and amortization on) a debt of a million and a quarter dollars.
Good business by the Mescaleros.
The other case is furnished by the Cattle Trustees (all
Indians) of Isleta Pueblo. In the spring of 1936 these trustees
received 1,176 grade Herefords, bulls and heifers, and became in-
debted (to be repaid in kind) in the amount of $27,870 to the gov-
3y January 1, 1938, all but $6,270 of the indebtedness
had been paid off. Live-stock on hand represented $41,385 in
value and cash in hand was $6,018*
Otherwise stated, in two years the indebtedness had been
cut by $20,600 and the assets had been increased by $18,817, repre-
senting a net profit, turned back into capital, of 100 per cent in
two years .
Good business by the Isletas.
Ulysses Paisano, Indian silversmith and farmer, and trib-
al statesman, of Lagtma Pueblo, is dead. He had gone with his
people through many battles and many labors and many victories. So
gently unobtrusive he was, that few of his many white friends
thought of him as a man of power; but since I first knew Ulysses
Paisano - and Frank Paisano and Charles Kie and others of that nu-
merically small but morally great Indian tribe - in 1922, Laguna
Pueblo has helped make Indian history. From the defeat of the Fall-
Bursum Indian bill in 1922, through many intervening events, to the
banner-bearing soil conservation work of the recent years. Laguna
and Acoma Pueblos, close neighbors, but often enemies in the past,
have marched together, and have marched with the rest of the Pueblos,
in these struggles and achievements of sixteen years . And now
Ulysses, gentle, hospitable, faithful and wise old man, is gone.
The race lives; and to the tribal Indian that fact is ev-
And to Gertrude Bonnin, who died at Washington on January
26, that fact was everything: the race lives on, not dies. The
Sioux race lives, the Indian race lives; spirit and flesh, the
Indian goes on. Some facts of Mrs. Bonnin's life are given on
page 23* A speaker at her funeral stated that she had been the
representative Indian woman in public life for a generation.
That, I believe, was a true estimate.
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
The photograph of Bull Lake, Wind River Agency, Wyoming,
which appears on the cover of this issue of "Indians At Work" is
by H. L. Dennler.
AW OKLAHOMA GULLY BEFORE AND AFTER TREATMENT
CCC-ID Work At Osage. Oklahoma
A Gully Before Treatment
The Same Gully After Filling
THE AMERICAN INDIAN SIGN LANGUAGE
By John P. Harrington, Smithsonian Institution
(Note: This is Section 1 of an article on the American
Indian sign language. The two subsequent sections
will appear in early issues of Indians At Work.)
Talk Without Talk
The scene is a little room at Anadarko in south-central
Oklahoma. The time is the early 'nineties of the past century. An
American with a "bearded, expressive face stands "before an audience
of those more properly called Americans - the native Indians - ad-
dressing them in a silent language, which could not "be understood
if the room were dark, in a silent language of hundreds of words
cemented together with a flux of motion and facial expression. It
is a language the speaker has acquired through long years of prac-
tice from men like those in his audience; they in turn have had it
handed down to them from their remote ancestors.
This language is perhaps the greatest invention made by
the American Indian and is on a par with the invention of writing
in the Old World. It is the strangest language on earth, for not
a sound is uttered, yet it moves forward as rapidly as the spoken
speech on which it is "based. It corresponds to the ideographic
writing invention of the Chinese rather than to the phonetic writ-
ing invention of western Eurasia, since each sign in this Indian
sign language represents a word, just as each Chinese character
represents a word and was in origin a picture of the concept of a
word. And this talk without talk is not only based, as we have
said, on language, but on as many tongues as are represented by the
men in the room. Here in this audience are Eiowas, Kiowa-Apaches ,
Comanches, Wichitas, Caddos, a stray Pawnee, a stray Osage. All
these representatives of seven different tribes and languages, whose
widely different forms of speech would require the lifetimes of at
least seven devoted linguistic specialists for their adequate re-
cording, understand the same sequence of signs - and interpret them
in seven absolutely different spoken languages I The only parallel
to this in the field of writing is again the Chinese character sys-
tem, by which individuals speaking eighteen diverse dialects, and
also a totally alien Japanese, can read the same newspaper while
different words are pronounced.
The scene I have described took place at the little mis-
sion at Anadarko, at that time in the Indian Territory, and the
white man was the missionary Lewis F. Hadiey, who, according to my
Indian informants, made these eloquent, yet silent addresses. It
was one of the most unique happenings in all the history of human
preaching. Walter C. Hoe at Colony, Oklahoma, used to preach to
the Cheyennes in the same silent manner used by Hadiey in preach-
ing to the Kiowas.
Cards For Learning The Sign Language
When I first came to the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau
of American Ethnology in Washington, D. C, a set of cards for
learning the sign language, prepared by this same Lewis F. Hadiey,
attracted my attention in the "middle room" , which was lighted by the
lower half of the great rosette window. These cards bore a diagram
of a sign language sign on one face and the English word translat-
ing the same on the reverse face, the idea being to test the learn-
er's memory by seeing if he could recognize the meaning of the sign
without referring to the reverse side of the card. This is an old
device in the history of teaching and one which had previously been
used in the teaching of the sign language used by the deaf. Hadiey
also published complete texts of stories, Bible passages, and the
like, as series of diagrams of signs with sub-linear English trans-
lations, a procedure which had previously been used only by Mallery.
This method is a sound one: those who have studied a foreign lan-
guage know that it is best learned by the study of a connected text
rather than by that of isolated words. Following this principle, we
reproduce at the end of this article one of Hadiey 's texts - that of
the Nineteenth Psalm.
M. 2 AND 3.
Elevate, the right index bach out
in front of the face.
From Hadiey' s Card System Of
Indian Signs. The Sign Above Is
For The Word Man.
M. 2 AND 3.
MA L E .
The. in ii I V of mil/ rreatare. .In.
old man is sliuirn />// the bent in-
lie.v he/if into same manner. Tlie
left initr.V /'.(ANOTHER MAN.
This Is The Reverse Side Of The
Card, Which Gives The Meaning
And Use Of The Sign.
What The American Indian Sign Language Really Is
I ha.ve just told how the American Indian sign language
is founded on spoken language, or rather on a number of spoken
languages. Let me for a moment get right down to explaining what
the American Indian sign language really is, even though in doing
so, it will be necessary to use some unusual words. Plainer than
what I am about to say, is the diagram below, from which one will
quicker grasp the interrelation and development of terms.
We are beings of thought and emotion . Both thought and
emotion have expression in our bodily condition, posture and action.
But these non-linguistic expressions put across to other human be-
ings, unless the setting happens to be right for ready understand-
ing, only the merest fraction of the definite conceptual and emo-
tional process which is going on within the brain. It was only
through a development known as speech, based on the pre-existence
of sound and hearing, and seizing upon organs connected with the
lungs and mouth to put them to secondary employment for its build-
ing, that details of thought and emotion, with only the ordinary
background of circumstances to help the understanding, first be-
came plainly expressed. Both thought and emotion have their inde-
pendent expression in speech: thought develops the non-interjec-
Alphabetic sign language;
Horse code; various alpha-
Indian sign language
Writing, including Amer-
ican Indian picture writ-
American Indian sign
betic deaf-mute sign
language; also signal
systems with blanket, smoke,
dust, mirror, fire-arrows,
TRSS SHOWING DERIVATION 0? AV.i2IC.AII INDIAN SIGH
LANGUAGE AND SIMILAR D372L0R.IENTS
tional parts of speech and their putting together, which latter is
known as grammar and syntax; emotion develops only that single part
of speech, in contrast to all the others, known as the interjection.
Thought and emotion are prj mary phenomena. Spoken speech, based on
thought and emotion, and their inseparable tool and accompaniment,
must be termed the secondary phenomenon. Writing, in its ideograph-
ic and phonetic forms, American Indian sign language and other sim-
ilar lesser developments elsewhere, blanket, smoke, dust, horse-
running, feather-wearing signaling system, and the African drum
language, are the tertiary phenomena, based on spoken speech. Al-
phabet sign language, based on phonetic writing^and written or
printed American Indian sign language (Mallery, and especially Had-_
ley, reproduce such texts, and Hadley includes one written oy an In-
dian) are the quaternary phenomena. Written or printed alphabetic sisn
language is the quinary phenomenon. Some signs consist of such na-
tural gestures that they may be said to have originated contempor-
aneously with the spoken word, or to have antedated it, but in gen-
eral the sign is to the Indian understanding based on the word; the
word being regarded as the main medium, and word and sign inter-
Sign Is Here Used For A Standardized Gesture
In speaking of an North American Indian sign langua.se it
is necessary to define what is meant by sign. A sign, as here used,
is applied to a standardized gesture, that is, a postural tension
for expression which has become conventionalized. These signs are
still or with motion; they involve one or two hands and to a lesser
extent other body part3, especially facial parts. The signs center
about the upper limbs and the facial parts.
An Animal Produces The American Indian Sign Language
The American Indian sign language attained a vocabulary
and complexity at least twenty times as great, and judging from some
aspects, a hundred times beyond the highest similar development
elsewhere in the primitive world. Just as Indian California basket-
ry attained a perfection unparalleled in the art of basket making,
excelling by far any European basketry, so the American Indian sign
language excelled all other primitive inventions along this line."
It is true that all over North and South America the Indians had
some dim approach to a sign language. It remained for an animal,
the buffalo, more scientifically called the American Bison, to
cause this rudimentary sign language to blossom into its startling
development. Strange enough to be figured as an item in Ripley's
"Believe It Or Not" is the fact that an animal produced the Ameri-
can Indian sign language. An animal, the buffalo, ranged in what I
call the core of the continent of North America. The drawing below
shows thi s range , which is coincident with the fuller development
of the sign language . The center of this range, the Western Plains,
where the buffalo persisted longest, i_s coincident with the full -
est development . Here on the Western Plains, Indian tribes speak-
V "*«*A/5- """")
Q " ~^v ^\
y "^~^___^ ^w » 2~\> / y*
.^i ^ \
Ci " V \
IaS ^o ^"^
The Original .American Bison Area,
According To J . A. Allen.
From "The American Bisons",
The Plains Indian Culture Area, Ac-
cording To Wissler. (Reprinted
From "The American Indian", By Per-
mission Of The Oxford University
ing some fifteen or twenty diverse languages were jumbled together
as buffalo hunters. They elbowed each other. The result was the
sign language. It was a matter of necessity, just as Mallery re-
ports the development of a sign language among the workers in a
mill in Pennsylvania, where the din of the machinery made ordinary
speech impossible. Buffalo hunting was done in the daytime, so
the inadequacy of sign language in the dark did not retard its de-
velopment. Night hunting would never have developed it. The In-
dians of the Western Plains (the Kiowa, the Kiowa-Apache, the Crow,
the Cheyenne, the Arapaho, the Shoshone, the Comanche, the Black-
foot, the Sioux): these are the peoples who spoke it richly, and
whose aged are still our teachers. The sign language at its peak
is therefore coincident with the Western Plains Culture Area of
Wissler (see right-hand map above).
A Text In American Indian Sign Language
By far the best way to sa.mple and to learn languages, in-
cluding the American Indian sign language, is oy connected sequence
of words in a text, rather than "by memorizing mere isolated words.
For this reason I always like to get a text for sajnpling a spoken
Indian language. No text is better adapted for such a purpose than
that of the Nineteenth Psalm. It is one of the poetical peaks
of the whole Bible, yet is so simple in its wording that it could
be used in an elementary primer. The original Hebrev; has been in-
cluded, since it is the base from which all translations must be
The text as here presented consists of six lines: 1. The
original Hebrew; 2- Transliteration in the Hebrew in our letters '
(vowels are pronounced as in Spanish; a with superior circle is pro-
nounced like aw in English); 3. Literal English translation of the
Hebrew (lines 2 and 3 were prepared for Indians At Work by Mr. Moses
Steinberg, eminent Hebrew scholar); 4. The King James translation of
the Hebrew - this line is underscored; 5. American Indian sign lan-
guage version, based mainly on Hadley's sign language paraphrase, pp.
269-272, but with emendations of certain words and additions to the"
Hadley version of verses five and six; 6. Literal English transla-
tion of the signs.
Indians At Work is therefore publishing a conrolete rec-
ord of the original and the sign language translation of" the Psalm.
I believe that this is the first document of its kind ever placed
before the public; it is certainly a most effective one for sampl-
ing and appreciating the nature of the American Indian sign lan-
F. G. COLLETT LOSES LIBEL SUIT AGAINST " WASHINGTON TIMES "
The libel suit brought by Frederick 5. Collett against
the "Washington Times" was tried in the Federal District Court at
Washington, D. C. on February 9 and 10-
The suit was based on a newspaper article which digested
testimony before the House Committee on Indian Affairs on April 4,
1935 wherein Collett was charged with forging Congressman Clarence
F. Lea's name to a circular dealing with the Indian Reorganization
After hearing the plaintiff's witnesses, the judge di-
rected a verdict for the defendant newspaper.
A TEXT IN THE AMERICAN INDIAN SIGN
D?p#n onsop h* — tins
the glory of Ood
The hen vena
the glory of God
The ahy veult
and (the) work of hie hands
the firmament ahoweth
hie handiwork .
1 1- TIT
^-y^^? ^^ ^
y Jhhaveh— daath .
shone th knowledge .
rx ipx p* 1 ff-n't ^s saw: :nbip pxrrbss sr Dip rrcpsi bsn
3. js&ti omer v'eyn d'variur h'il .ndshma kolSm,
There la no speaking and there are no words without heering their voices-
T here 1b no speech nor language , where their voice 1b not heard .
4. B'khol-ha'&rotB yntaa kavem uviktseh thevel
In all the earth went out their line end in the end (the)world
Their line ia gone out through all the earth, and their w or ds to the end
lien all underatand tneir apeech
to all the earth the same
BJT^ «to#? i tia br\H jbtq
ml j. eh em
to the sun
(a) tent in them.
J of the world . In then hath he set a tabernacle for the sun
fc'hhethan yotse mtihupStoo
like a bridegroom goes out from hie canopy.
iS. £ brlde/p-opm coming out of his chamber
a tent for the BAm.
like a man married a short time
he rejoices like a atrong man
and re.lolceth as a, strong ma n i
-113?3 rrfc trrifc rapp \c?6vri ixria inwojn Drills
to run an errand.
tp_ run a £ace.
6. Lllktaah haahfimayim mutseo uthfcuffitho al-k'taothfim
Trom the end of the heavenB his going out and his turning around upon their ends
Bis. gSlflfl forth 1b. from the end of the heaven , and " his circuit to ■ the ends
a^ „ „ a gaaaa , ^ -^ ^ tt ^j^. ^ CTlllJt forth ^ ££„ the end of_ toe heaven , and Tils circuit tp_. the ends of it:
■>•! a man strong. he runs a race over nil the akv. *v-.- i.,™ «,« ..*- *.■..„ „-.,-. n„ -,<„,. >.!T via '■.■.^(nr Hi-mmd the-re t.Vin ami oi tns
runs a race over all the aky. 5^^ the end of the sky hla going out
his turning around there the end " ^ a ato
v'ayn me tar m'hhamatoo.
and there 1b no .hidden one from his anger.
and there la nothing hid from toe heat thereof.
rrrifi rr|T np-pri rn^p
7. Torath T'hovah t 'alrnah n'shivath
(The) teaching of Jehovah (ia) perfect returning
2i£ law of toe Lord Is perfect . converting
nla comes to all tningB. Qod nil law all S>od
walk the straight
eduth Y 'hovah no « emanah
the testimony of Jehovah (1b) Believable
the ' testimony o£ $he Lord Is. sure.
wise man knowing
> Plkudey T 'hovSh y • oharlm
(The) orderlngs of Jehovah (are), righteous,
Th e gta tut c j of *he tord sro right .
m ■ samhhey— lev
they gladden toe heart
rejoicing th e hgart:
making the heart giadj
LANGUAGE - THE NINETEENTH PSALM
nvr iftn rrvxp :qyj?
mltsvaa T'hovSh barfch m'irath eynayim.
(the) comnandihg of Jehovah pure give* light to the eyes.
The coraa andment of the Lord, is. ESS. enlightening £&•_ ey.ff..
UfoZZifrd <&? M ?!
walk !• a clean road
l. at !lf)t
1. Tlrath T'hov&h t'horjh omedeth
(The) fear of Jehovah (1b) clean (and) atanda
The foar of th e Lord 1b dean. enduring forever
If man fears
nirr rnint? mew TB?
lovah t 'horjh
rehovah (1b) clean (ant
is Lord 1b dean.
rrfrtDBtfa rax p-ns :tiit
mi ohp ' t ey-T 'hovah erne th t aidia ya.-.- U 7
(tho) Judgnenta of Jehovah true Justified together.
The .ludgnants of_ the Lord are tny and rt tf-tpjua alt aether.
God hi a
he Iteeps heart par* alwayi ■ Ood
his judgmenta are all right ccd tnt,
10. Hanehhmadlm mizahSv uaipa* rav
The desired onea from sold and from pure gold much
i;ore to be deal red axe they than gold , yea , th an, much fine gold :
Tou want much
to receive the Base. Ton want to po
eeeas them °»re than gold^
more than much
■umthukjm midvaeh v'nofeth teufic
end th* sweet onea from honey and the trickling of honeycomb. 11. Qam-av'dkha nlzhar blhon Vshamram eyfcev raw.
1. . Also thy servant !• warned in them when they guard stepe many.
aweeter -i^q than honey and tha honeycomb . »
^^sr^ . Moreover by them U fchj ufinafij warned : and in ^oepj^n j: of $&S3 there lj great reward
1 nar.e nore good than food to taste.
J I A- T I-
Sr- ' glo s mi-y&vin
''.1st.; _e a who can unde
ffho , can understand his errors
from secret toingB clsanso me-
qip&nge thou m e from aecret faults .
Da crna ■sp&n. -t^ss
(tea ml jay ale hhaeokh avd'khj
Aloo from evil men avoid thy serva_.
Soeg back thy aervant also from prarx^tacua i'^i;
know faults of hii heart? Ood
'rn^iy-bx is airs
let then not have dominion over me :
tpimi scteo tan
*(•■■; 1- jv ■ it
el-iim'sh'lu-vi £ 2 eyetham yinlkeythi rav
shall htve no dominion over me those stronger and cleanse me from alas many-
then shall. I be uprlrfit. and I shell be Innocent frog th a great tr
A€^ 3* ^7 ^yf J
stop their ,>,.„ wlth
walk the right road the
day I sm free from ii- .
4. Ilhyu 1'rSteon ljirey-fl T'heQron Uu HfoaekhA
Let he to the irtll Daylaas of oy mouth and the meditation of my heart wore See
Lrt the mrd. of mjr rnoaa, agd the meditation of my heart, ^ .oco-.tati'e to thj gl
V rock and ay r*de«=er.
2. I^rd . ay_ strength, and sj_ redeaeer .
Uaie words thoughtB heart mine clean la thy Bight
■trangth mln» t salTatlon atntK
PERSONAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE JANUARY 18-20 NAVAJO
TRIBAL COUNCIL MEETING-
By James M. Stewart, Director of Lands
En route by government car to the Navajo Reservation at
Window Rock, Arizona, from Fort Duchesne, Utah, where I had been
discussing with the Ute Indians their land problem, I began to
think back over the numerous Navajo councils I have attended and
to trace in my mind the various changes wrought in the administra-
tion of the Navajo Area and in the thinking and attitude of the
Navajo people themselves to those changes.
Beginning in 1931, at Fort Winga.te, New Mexico, I at-
tended my first Navajo tribal council meeting. At tha.t time the
council was composed of twelve delegates constituting the voting
power and twelve alternates who were without voting power but who
were available to take the respective place of any regular dele-
gate unable to be present . The chairman of the council at that
time was Deshna Clah Chischillige. At that time the Navajo Area
was under six independent superintendents. The business transacted,
was of general routine nature; nothing especially new or disturbing
to the Indians was involved: topics such as sheep dipping, the need
for more lands, education, health and so on. Altogether it was a
period of getting together for visiting not only by the Indians
themselves, but also by the six superintendents and members of
their staffs and representatives of the Indian Office; so it con-
tinued along this line regularly once a year (July 6 and 7 were
the accepted tribal council meeting dates).
Since that meeting in 1931 I have attended all of the
Navajo council meetings. Up until the Tuba City council meeting,
nothing really profoundly upsetting was propounded to the council.
At the Tuba City meeting, to the Indians at least, the ogre of
range control and stock reduction was raised and brought out into
the open. From that meeting through the subsequent ones - Fort De-
fiance, Keams Canyon, Crown Point and Window Rock - stock reduction
was and is the main topic
In the meantime the administration of the Navajo Area had
been centralized in one head, who replaced the former six superin-
tendents. Range control and stock reduction were not being accepted
by the Navajos for the principal reason that the Indian Office had
proposed an action which admittedly is necessary and desirable but
at the time was not understandable or acceptable to the Indians.
Frankly, the Indian Office did not have the facts fully developed,
or the administrative arrangements made, whereby the Navajos could
be shown that stock reduction was not only a wise move but an ur-
gently necessary one if they were to endure as a tribe, and that in
addition it was a practically feasible operating plan.
As a result of raising the range control and stock reduc-
tion issues and continually hammering them at the Navajos, the In-
dian Service was not at all popular on the reservation; in fact it
is said that some of the Navajos have disciplined misbehaving chil-
dren on occasion by intimating to them -that Commissioner Collier
might appear on the scene. The formerly dignified Navajo councils
had become, through misunderstandings in certain quarters, imbued
with a feeling of hostility and discourtesy to everything emanating
from the Indian Office. This hostility manifested itself in part
through heckling Indian Office representatives when they addressed
the council. The stock reduction issue was the main point of con-
troversy; there were, however, other contributory factors such,
for instance, as the removal of 'the several former superintendents,
toward whom the Indians generally had a real affection and had
looked for counsel and advice, and also the more or less disre-
gard by the Indian Service of those chapter organizations which
had been built up by these superintendents and which were valued
by the Navajos.
Previous to this last council meeting, the last one I at-
tended was in November 1936 . At that time there was a good deal
of confusion and doubt in the minds of the employees as to whether
the new form of central administration could be successfully carried
on. I am describing atmosphere rather than actions, because in its
formal actions the council continued to be in harmony with head-
With the foregoing
thoughts in mind, I approach-
ed this last council, wonder-
ing if it would be a repeti-
tion of others and would re-
sult in a continuing antagon-
Ficture ; In be-
tween sessions at the coun-
cil meeting. Commissioner
Collier chats with Roman Hub-
bell, trader, in foreground.
ism toward the general program. The first day of the council
meeting was disappointing. Out of 72 of the new council members
(the council having been reorganized on a more representative
basis), only 43 delegates were in attendance and the general In-
dian attendance was sparse. Gradually during the afternoon other
delegates continued to arrive and also Navajo Indians in general.
During the first day miscellaneous matters were discussed, such
as the application of the Continental Oil Company for reinstate-
ment of its Boundary Butte lease and enlargement of its present
lease holdings, the allowing of metalliferous raining on the res-
ervation and the granting of land-use to missionary groups and
so forth. When the second day of the council opened there appeared
to be as many Indians present as at former councils. The attend-
ance of the council delegates had jumped from forty- three to ap-
proximately sixty. It was at the second day's meeting that the
Commissioner arrived. In decided contrast to his reception at
other recent councils, he was greeted most warmly by the Indians.
His topic was the ever-troublesome one of range control and stock
reduction. An all-dav discussion, at which all the facts were pre-
sented by Superintendent Fryer, Commissioner Collier, and other
staff members, followed.
The session continued into the night. At about eleven-
thirty, after full discussion by delegates from nearly all of the
districts, the council unanimously adopted a resolution authoriz-
ing the elimination from the reservation of non-productive live-
stock - with qualifications in so far as horses were concerned -
but with no qualifications concerning ewes and wethers.
All through the first and second days of the council
meeting it was apparent there had taken place an impres ive shift
in attitude on the part of the Indians and on the part of the super-
intendent's staff. To my mind this has been brought about largely
through efforts of the present superintendent and his staff, who
have wisely and effectively carried out the policy under which the
entire reservation has been divided into eighteen administrative
and grazing districts, and of putting in charge of each district a
competent staff member empowered to represent the superintendent
on practically all local matters. This set-up gives the Indians
a responsible officer close at hand, and makes possible a far
closer contact than they have ever had before with the adminis-
trative officers. Through the district representatives on the
council, local matters pertaining to a ffiven district can and
are effectively disposed of, whereas in the past the councilmen
always had to go "back to their people" to discuss matters gener-
ally affecting the reservation.
It was apparent to me that the superintendent and his
staff have the facts well in hand, such as the carrying capacity
of the range, the number of sheep and goats and other live-stock
on the reservation, their location and ownership; and through this
knowledge of facts plus the district arrangement, plus the admin-
istrative orderliness, they have emerged from a chaotic condition
to a well-planned moving direction. Adding to this the changed
attitude of the Indians and of the personnel generally, there is
a new feeling and a new spirit manifesting itself over the entire
area; a feeling and spirit that indicate the entire pros-ram is well
under way. The remark made to me hy one employee - "Mr. Stewart, I
really feel now that the new program is going over; that we are on
our way" - correctly sums up the general present situation on the
Navajo Reservation. There is one thing to remember, however; we
must at all times progress with the Navajos themselves, and not they
with us .
RIO GRANDE WATERSHED ADJUSTMENT PROGRAM IS LAUNCHED
As the initial step in a comprehensive program of social,
economic and land-use adjustment in the Upper Rio Grande Watershed,
the Office of Indian Affairs has accepted jurisdiction over four
hundred thousand acres of eroding and depleted grazing land in New
Mexico. Transfer of jurisdiction over these areas from the Depart-
ment of Agriculture to the Department of the Interior was recently
Approximately 700,000 acres of eroded range land in the
uppjer Rio Grande Watershed were originally purchased by the United
States as Indian demonstration projects for the use of Pueblo and
Na.vajo Indians, for erosion control and for the protection of "the
watersheds. After the purchases had been completed, the administra-
tion and development of most of the areas was taken over by the Soil
Conservation Service. The Office of Indian Affairs subsequently
designated considerable portions of the areas for use by the sub-
sistence-seeking Spanish-American population of the Rio Grande Val-
ley. Other parts of the purchased lands were designated for mixed
Indian and Spanish -American use and about one- third of the total
area was set aside for exclusive Indian use. The transfers of jur-
isdiction of parts of the purchased area to the Secretary of the In-
terior carry into effect this earlier allocation of use arranged
for by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Thus the whole purchased
area of 701,000 acres has been devoted to the use of the two resi-
dent subsistence-farming populations dependent upon the adjacent
range for the grazing of their domestic live-stock.
CCC-ID WORK AT TURTLE! MOUNTAIN AGENCY, NORTH DAKOTA
This Picture Shows An Old, Rutted Road, Improperly Drained.
This Picture Shows The Same Road After Construction,
CCC-ID WORK AT TURTLE MOUNTAIN AGENCY . NORTH DAKOTA
CCC-ID Crew Setting Up One Of The Windmills
CCC-ID Crew Working On Dam And Reservoir. This Dam Is Being
Constructed Below Several Large Springs And Is Already Filled
With Water And Will Furnish An Excellent Stock-Wptering
Place For The Indian-Owned Stock In This Community.
INDIAN COLONY HELD TO BE " INDIAN COUNTRY " IN SUPREME COURT DECISION
By Charlotte T. Westwood,
Assistant Solicitor, U. S. Department of the Interior
The United States Supreme Court on January 3 handed down
an opinion in the case of United States v. McG-owan, et al., which
is of great interest to the Indians and the Indian Service.
In this case, the United States sought the forfeiture of
automobiles used to carry intoxicants into the Reno Indian Colony
in Nevada, invoking Section 247 of Title 25 of the United States
Code, which provides for the forfeiture of conveyances used in in-
troducing intoxicants into the Indian country. The Federal District
Court* and Circuit Court of Appeals** had denied the application of
the statute on the ground that the Reno Indian Colony was not with-
in the term "Indian country." These courts referred to historic
definitions of "Indian country" as lands set apart for the Indians
from the public domain or lands to which the original Indian right
of occupancy had never been extinguished. They held that lands,
such as those of the Reno Indian Colony, purchased by the United
States for Indian welfare from private owners without obtaining a
cession of State jurisdiction and without formally designating the
land as an Indian reservation were not Indian country.
The tract of land known as the "Reno Indian Colony" was
purchased by the Government under Congressional appropriations made
"for the purpose of procuring home and farm sites * * * for the non-
reservation Indians in the State of Nevada * * * for the purchase
of land and water rights for the Washoe Tribe of Indians * * * "
and, later, for additions to the Colony. The several hundred In-
dians on the 30-acre colony tract were under the jurisdiction of
the Carson Indian Agency and had received the same type of assist-
ance and guardianship from the Interior Department as had Indians
on reservations throughout the country.
The probable result of these Federal court opinions would
have been not only that the Indians of the Reno Colony were not
protected by the Federal Indian liquor laws, but that they were not
protected by other Federal laws applying to Indian country, such as
laws regulating traders and punishing crimes, and that Indians re-
siding on other colonies and rancherias and lands purchased from
private owners without obtaining the cession of State jurisdiction
would likewise have been without the protection of the Federal laws.
* United States v. One Chevrolet Automobile, 16 F. Supp. 453 (D.C.
** United States v. McGowan, 89 F. (2d) 201 (CCA. 9th, 1937).
Such a result would have been far-reaching. Since the public do-
main has greatly diminished and the lands previously occupied by
Indians have been extensively sold to private owners, the chief
way in which Indian land holdings may be extended is through the
purchase of private lands now under State jurisdiction.
These opinions of the lower Federal courts have now,
however, been overruled by the Supreme Court. Mr. Justice Black,
speaking for the Court, said that the term "Indian country" must
be construed in the light of changing circumstances, that the
policy of Congress has been to protect Indians in "dependent Indian
communities" anywhere within the borders of the United States, that
the Reno Indian Colony was set apart by the United States for the
use of the Indians and is under the superintendence of the Govern-
ment and, therefore, is properly designated as "Indian country."
In indicating the continuing guardianship of the United
States over the Indians and the similarity of the position of these
Indians with that of other Indians on reservations, the Justice
referred to the Indian Reorganization Act and indirectly, therefore,
to the organization of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony under that act .
This recognition of the Indian Reorganization Act and of tribal or-
ganization under Federal guidance is of great importance in remov-
ing any doubts as to the constitutionality of that act and as to
the continuance of Federal guardianship of organized tribes.
GERTRUDE SIMMONS BONMIN DIES
Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, wife of Captain Raymond T.
Bonn in, died January 26 in Washington, at the age of sixty- two.
Mrs. Bonnin, who was a full-blood Sioux, had been a teacher at
Carlisle and in the Indian Service, a writer, and was founder
and president of the National Council of American Indians.
When he learned of Mrs. Bonnin 1 s death, Commissioner
"I have known Mrs. Gertrude Bonnin intimately for fifteen
years, and I have considered her the representative Indian woman
in public life. She was thoroughly and intensely Indian, while
at the same time her culture in the White man's way was wide and
deep. Mrs. Bonnin was a great orator, and her writings belong to
literature. She had an immense and accurate knowledge of Indian
facts and Indian problems. The Sioux Tribe and all Indians have
lost a real leader."
CRAFTS OF THE PAPAGOS
A Papago Basket Maker
(Note: Adapted from material in the annual report o-f the
Superintendent, Mr. T. B. Hall, and from other office correspondence.
Most of the photographs were furnished through the courtesy of Miss
Ruby B. Zassel of Sells Agency, Arizona.)
Papago crafts are very much alive today. Papagos use as
well as sell what they make; and archaeological investigations show
that the techniaues and materials of today have changed little since
the days before the white man.
Bows and arrows for defense; lariats, leather thongs and
horsehair ropes for their principal industry - cattle raising; pot-
tery for cooking and storing water; baskets for storage and carry-
ing - these have been the needs of a desert people.
Papago arrows are interesting chiefly for the small, al-
most minute, arrow heads, chipped from the black volcanic glass,
obsidian. Making them is almost a lost croft.
Lost completely is the art of jewelry making. Obsidian,
turquoise traded from the north and coral traded from the Mexican
coast were the chief materials of the native necklaces, several of
which may be seen at the Arizona State Museum in Tucson.
Fine string lariats and horsehair ropes are still being
made and a comparatively new related development is the weaving of
horsehair belts and hatbands.
Pap ago Water Jars And Pottery Figure s
Papago pottery is almost identical with that of their rel-
atives, the Pimas. It is of two kinds, the red clay, sometimes
Papago Cooking Pots And Storage Jars. The Pot At Lower
Right Is The Traditional "Bean Pot" Of The Papago s.
decorated with "black-
designs; and the white
clay, similarly decor-
ated. The nearby 1 Mar-
icopa s also make pot-
tery, shown in the ac-
In addition to the
smaller cooking uten-
of all pottery -making
■peoples, the Paoagos
Women. These Are Water-Tight, And Are Used make ollas > the ~ large
As We Use Pans. water~ja7s" so neces-
sary in a desert country. The porousness of the clay allows the
water to "sweat" through, and the resulting evaporation keeps the
water cool even in the warmest weather. In the village of Toapit
(Stoa-Pifka, white clay), etaws , fat pottery images, with the hands
folded complacently across their stomachs, are still sometimes made.
From the same district also come other small figures: horses, rab-
bits, and even camels - reminders of those unfortunates which were
set free in the desert country by the Army after the Civil War.
Willow Or Pima Baskets Made By Papago
Pap ago B askets Are Of Var i ed Design And Fine Qua! i ty
The most important, most finished, and most original of
the Papago crafts is basketry. Panago basket work is of four kinds:
Plaiting, which is technically "twilled plaiting, with oblique el-
ements only" - although little known to the outside public is, on
a-ccotint of the rapidity with which it can be done, a very common meth-
od by which the Papagos make baskets and floor mats for their own
useA The leaf of the Palmea, a type of yucca, is the material used.
But the type for which the Papagos are famed, and that seen
in traders' stores, is the close coiled basket. This is made of a
rope of bear grass, mo a , coiled always counter-clockwise, wrapped
with strips of raw-green or bleached-whi te yucca (hoy), with designs
done in the black of the cured peeled rod of the Devil's Claw (ehook).
This is a sewed, not a woven, basket. In a. Variation, known as the
coarse coiled tyoe, the rope is not completely covered by the wrap-
ping but is allowed to show through, the wrapr>ing being, in fact,
merely a tie for the coils. The large grain baskets are often made
in this way.
The technique of lace coiled basketry has almost completely
disappeared. This is an open-work, lace-like fabric, from which the
kiahas - carrying baskets - were formerly made. The material was a
cord made from the fibre of the yucca leaf.
Papa?o and Pima basketry-
is usually grouped together. Much
the same technique is employed
for loth, although different ma-
terials are used. The coils of
the Pima baskets are of cat- tail,
with wrappings of willow for the
whi te and devil ' s claw for the
Pottery Made By Papago ?fomen
Marke ting Papago Baskets
In 1933, the Eapago (Sells) Agency set up a revolving fund
for the purchase of sewing materials, which are exchanged to the
Papago women for pottery and baskets. This fund has been adminis-
tered most successfully by Miss Ruby B. Kassel, the home economics
teacher, in the name of the Santa Rosa Sewing Club. Percale, ging-
ham, sheeting, flannel and sewing material are bought in quantity
by the Agency at a discount and exchanged to the Papago s at the ,
price they would have to pay in Tucson or Phoenix. All proceeds
from the sale of baskets and pottery are deposited to the Agency to
the credit of the club, and the cycle repeated. During the fiscal
year 1937, baskets and pottery amounting to $1,678.20 were sold and
the club made a net gain of $373.20.
The success of such a venture can be laid to three factors
an ample supply of a good product, careful management and constant
work on the part of some responsible person, and a steady market.
All three factors are present here. The turn-over is rapid - 4,962
baskets sold in one yetr: thus the funds tied up in unsold goods
have been reduced to a minimum. Most of the sales are made in
quantity to a wholesale house.
Licensed traders on the reservation also make large pur-
chases of baskets. There; are no reliable figures as to the total
quantity of basketry produced on the Papago, nor on the number kept
for home use. It is believed, however, that the Papago Indians pro-
duced more than 15,000 baskets last year and some 500 pieces of
Papago horsehair belts. These aire not dyed: hair from tne tails
of black and of white horses is used, also the reddish color from
A RETIRING COUNCIL CHAIRMAN WRITES TO COMMISSIONER COLLIER
ON THE YEAR'S WORK
From Wesley Poneoma, Former Chairman, Hopi Tribal Council, Arizona
It has been a long time that I haven't written you any
message from Hopi-land.
We Hopi people have come to our destination of how we
must work in governing our people. Under the Act of June 18, 1934
we have come to thoughtful that we must organize as that is the
only hope for us. Since last year in December and January we tried
many times to organize and elect our representatives according to
our Hopi constitution and by-laws. Finally here at Toreva group
of men met and elected their two representatives. Which was happen
to be me and another man. I just simply his interpreter whenever
there might be letter comes or some official notices. Election
was held at Oraibi in January and all the representatives were pres-
ent. The tribal council officers were elected and I was made Vice-
During our short duties we have trouble. We lose our
Secretary in March and our President in June. That puts more burden
on those left that we simply all broken to pieces as our most im-
portant men were off our organization. The people were all stirred
up wondering what's going to happen next.
Now its up to me Vice Chairman to take Chairman's place.
I was worried in deeply sense, more than I ever come to reali-aed
in this course. I dreamed many times - I am asked to lead my people
in this new way and if I fall down that means trouble for them. I
wonder how I am going carry on when these two capable men had left
me this big job that I have no experience in. But my father came-
and my old grandpa came; they gave me courage by their words that
comforted me on my task.
Some people made fun at first and tried to make me mad at
meetings. But we had several successful meetings and people began
to understand what this organization really meant. I've met with
elders, chiefs, officials and other peoole just as well to talk
about these things. Now I am finishing my term of one year in 1937
for my people as Chairman of Hopi Tribal Council. I had many sad
and good news about this organizations. I hope my people will be
wise to elect such a courageous man that he will be able to stand
all temptations and hardships. I have finished my course; this is
my last month. My speech is poor, my character is poor, my pa-
tientness is less and my whole knowledge and wisdom is small. But
I try to do my duty by my government and ray people .
First time there is always hard for any new ideas. But
from now on I hope ray successors will have good luck. I am willing
to help them on as I have my experience. I wish I was there in
Washington to tell my story to you men concerning our organization.
But I know you will picture in your mind and see how hard time we
first had up here. Mr. Collier, my friend, please take my short
story a real scene of trying to proceed the self-government.
My superintendent, Mr. Button is a real man that stand by
and help us. My dear fellow men at Washington we need your help
and show us the way. Give my best regard to my another dear friend,
Mr. Chester Faris. In 1932 he was my superintendent at Santa Fe.
CCC-ID CRK HAS BUILT IP THE IDEA OF COOPERATION
By Harvey Le Claire, Enrollee, Yankton Reservation,
Rosebud Agency, South Dakota
Progress on the Yankton Reservation has been slow. It
seems as though the Yankton Sioux have found it hard to work togeth-
er for their common welfare. Instead there has been criticism and
argument and in all these crises, it has been the custom for the
younger peoole to let the older ones do the thinking and discussing
of their tribal problems.
Two years ago this coming spring, the CCC-ID, then known
as E.C.W. , first came to Yankton. It was looked upon, of course,
as another relief set-up to give employment to the needy. But after
working for the CCC-ID myself, I am inclined to think otherwise.
During the time CCC-ID has been going on at Yankton we have success-
fully completed several projects - proof of what good discipline
and cooperation can do. The younger people, as a result, are coming
to the front now, with ideas for the future in their minds. We feel
that we are on our way to our goal of self-support. It was CCC-ID
work, I think, that helped to start this idea of working together
among the young people.
METLAKATLA' S GOLDSN JU3ILE3
By Early E. Stone, Industrial Director, Metlakatla, Alaska.
This Monument Dedicated To
The Pioneers Of" Metlakatla
By The Council Of Annette
Islands Reserve, was made
Of Cobble Stone Picked Up
On The Island. Father
Duncan's Cottage In The
The fall of 1937 was of
special significance to the people
of Metlakatla, Alaska, because it
marked the fiftieth anniversary of
the founding of the village.
In the fall of 1887, a
group of about six hundred Tsimpshean
Indians, under the leadership of Wil-
liam Duncan, a former clergyman of
the Anglican Church, migrated from
Old Metlakatla, British Columbia, and
landed on the shores of Annette Is-
During the fifty years
since its settlement, Metlakatla has
seen great changes and steady progress
Today the community owns one of the
best canneries in Alaska; it owns and
operates a modern hydro-electric
plant which furnishes electricity to
all the inhabitants of the village
without cost; water is piped from the
mountain lakes to the village and
furnished the inhabitants free; it
has the finest community hall in
Alaska; and it has the finest fleet
of seining boats of any village in
Because the community has
prospered so well, the people decided
to hold a jubilee this fall in honor
of the fiftieth anniversary of their landing here. Invitations were
sent out to all the neighboring towns in Alaska and to the Tsimp-
shean villages on the West Coast of British Columbia.
This celebration, which lasted from November 25 to 29 in-
cluded meetings, banquets, concerts by the town band and speeches
by residents and visitors, one of whom was Dr. Luella M. King from
the Office of Indian Affairs, Juneau, Alaska. November 29 was the
day set aside as Pioneer Day and •unveiling of the new monument in
honor of the first settlers whose thrift and far-sightedness have
helped to make possible the happy, prosperous life of today. Sever-
al boat-loads of friends from Ketchikan came over, both Indians
and whites, to be present on this memorable occasion. Mayor Talbot
of that city was the principal speaker. Councilman Murchison told
something of the early history of Metlakatla, and the mayor, Mr.
David Leask, dedicated the monument to the town's founders.
WASHINGTON IN INDIAN HISTORY
By Arthur d Parker
George Washington is regarded by our remnants of the
Iroquois as one of their great heroes. It was he who softened the
blows of victory after the Revolution and pledged the Indians their
old homes in New York. Though they called him "Town Destroyer" in
allusion to the destructive campaign of General Sullivan, they ven-
erate him for his mercy and kindly justice. In their annual religi-
ous gatherings in their Long Houses the followers of the Indian
Prophet mention the good deeds of Washington and say that he shall
ever have a lodge at the gateway of the Happy Hunting Grounds where
he may come to enjoy the Indian's heaven when he wishes. They also
say that he may have his dog, for with the Iroquois, dogs go to
Heaven also, being faithful friends whose love for mankind has com-
mended them to the Creator.
Reprinted from " Indian Episodes Of New York " , Published
by the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences - 1935 •
VISITORS AT THE WASHINGTON OFFICE
Recent visitors at the Washington Office have included:
Superintendent Harold E. Bruce, Potawatomi Agency, Kansas; Super-
intendent Ralph Fredenberg, Keshena, Wisconsin and Herman W.
Johannes, manager of the Menominee Mills, Wisconsin; John Gates
and Willis Mountain, Indian delegates from Standing Rock Agency,
North Dakota; Superintendent Charles H. Jennings, Tongue River'
Agency, Montana; Superintendent E. R. McCray, Mescalero Agency,
New Mexico; and Dr. Ira D. Nelson, Sac and Fox Sanatorium, Iowa.
A MISSIONARY " LOOKS AT A TRIBAL CONSTITUTION
An Address By The Reverend Elmer Burroughs, Missionary At Yerington
(Carson Agency) Nevada, At A Missionary Conference In Schurz, Nevada.
An Indian tribal constitution is a device which, when
adopted and fully and honestly used, puts the tribe using it into
a situation where, it almost seems, life is just beginning.
Upon examination, this constitution appears to he as
orderly and logical as the Constitution of the United States, ap-
plicable to its sphere. That really is the beauty of the Reorganiza-
tion Act and the local constitutions and charters: each local unit
- each tribe or band - using them applies this authoritative instru-
ment to the local problems and needs. The old "blanket-law plan"
back in Washington, for all tribes and bands over the entire United
States, whether the "garment" fit the local figure or not, had to
be worn, or nudity and chill endured by the group. This present
plan turns local problems and needs directly into the hands of
properly vo ted-in and fairly well qualified Indian representatives
of the local band of Indians. Those needs and problems are dealt-
with in truly parliamentary style, so when once voted through, they
become resolutions and ordinances. How much more realistically the
need may thus be met than if handled perhaps 3,000 miles away across
Washington desks; how much more satisfactory to the councilmen and
tribesmen to have had it all worked out among themselves instead
of in "canned" form from the Department of the Interior.
It is true that the Indian constitution calls for a great
deal of the tribal business to pass before the reservation superin-
tendent and part of it to the Secretary of the Interior, to make
it authoritative and effective. There is no reason, however, to
believe that either the superintendent or the Secretary will block
many measures shaped up by the Indians. With the great expenditure
of money for lands, that landless Indians might have homes and scope
for development and self-support; and the scientific work done by
specialists backed by the Indian Department on those lands and among
the Indians, the Secretary of the Interior or reservation superin-
tendents will not be looking for ways to balk and block the Indians
in the trend upward and out of ignorance, helplessness and poverty;
rather they will encourage the Indians in their quest.
Betterment, development, progress: Yes, that hopeless
look in the eye of the Indian may change to one of expectation now.
He has a voice in his own affairs and cooperation on the part of
sympathetic government people, all the way down from the Commissioner
to the smallest field assistant! There are now funds available ap-
propriated by Congress for home improvement, stock, poultry, equin-
ment, seed; so that gardening, poultry-raising, dairying, sheeno-
raising, ranching may be carried on. More or less has this ever
been true, but never with the guarantee of "carrying through" such
as the organization under the Indian constitution makes possible.
Besides development along these lines, there is greater
encouragement for the revival of native arts and industries. Co-
operative associations will find markets and secure better nrices
than were possible under the old situation in which each craftsman
found his own market and "dickered" for prices.
Missionary cooperation and influence? Missionary effort
in any field has ever been for full cooperation in every way that
it seemed possible truly to advance the interests, welfare and
happiness of Indians. Their interpretation of Christ's commands
governs their thought and action in the matter.
November 27, 1937.
JEMEZ CHAPEL RE-DEDICATED
The chapel of Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico was re-dedicated
in January by Archbishop R. A. Gerken of Santa Fe, after restora-
tion of this historic building, which was badly damaged by fire
about a year ago •
The history of this chapel runs back three hundred and
fifty years, to the year 1598, when the first Franciscan friar,
Alonso de Lugo, visited the Jemez towns. Written records go back
As in the old chapel, Jemez Indian handiwork, notably
wood-carving, plays a part in the building, which is in the simple
native adobe style.
By Henrietta K. Burton, Supervisor of Home Extension Work
Blueie Adair Dykes,
pictured here, rides to serve.
Herself a three-quarters
Cherokee, she is using her
home economics training
gained at the Chilocco In-
dian School in her work as
home aid in the Indian Serv-
ice in Mayes County in the
Five Civilized Tribes Area
Her days, and those
of other Service women with
similar jobs, are full to the
At community meetings, demonstrations and by visits to
homes, she helps her Indian friends to improve living standards by
planting gardens, by canning and preserving food, by making cloth-
ing and bedding out of surplus and discarded materials, by ingen-
ious home improvements which cost little. She teaches in oart
through example: the coat she wears in the picture above was made
from discarded underwear from CCC salvaged goods; her skirt from
cast-off jackets; and her utility bag from scraps.
V/ESTERN SHOSHONE ORGANIZES SPORTS PROGRAM
The employees and residents of Western Shoshone Agency,
Nevada, have to organize their own recreation, since the Agency is
a hundred miles from a railroad and from outside diversions. With
the asset of a fine new gymnasium, Mr. Lloyd E. Lamb, Senior Fore-
man, CCC - ID, has organized an annual athletic program in which a
large number of employees and workers can participate. Basket ball
has been especially popular; six reservation teams and two out-
side teams for men have been organized into a league which is play-
ing off a series in which each team plays all the others. Boxing
and wrestling are also being promoted. Organized sports for women
have just been started.
ORIGIN OF THE SACRED BUFFALO HORN
Told By Foolish Bear; Translated By Arthur Mandan,
Fort Berthold Agency, North Dakota
On January 14 Foolish Bear and Drags Wolf, Gros
Ventres Indians of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North
Dakota, accepted on behalf of their clan, the Water
Busters, the return of their sacred medicine bundle from
Dr. George G. Heye, of the Heye Foundation in New York.
The Foundation received in exchange a sacred buffalo horn,
the most valued remaining heirloom in the clan. The story
of the buffalo horn is as follows:
Foolish Bear's father's name was Sittingbird. The name
of Sittingbird' s fa.ther, or Foolish Bear's grandfather, was Dull.
Foolish Bear is the offspring of these two men, which makes his the
The story goes that when old man Dull was twelve years of
age his uncle was returning one day from a buffalo hunt. It was
winter and the snow was falling. This boy was told to water the
buffalo horses. On the way down to the river and after he had wa-
tered the horses, he became scared: he was very timid. On the way
back he encountered a buffalo carcass exposed on the ground at his
feet and so he crawled into it, between the ribs, and he stayed
there all that night .
The next day he returned to his home. His uncle asked
him why he had not returned home the night before, after he had
finished watering the horses. The boy did not tell what had haopened
to him during the night but just told his uncle that he did not come
home ; that was all .
During the night he spent in the buffalo's body the boy
did not know what had taken place. However, the spirit of the buf-
falo entered the boy's body. In the due course of time the boy
smelled incense from a mossy weed around the base of a surrounding
pine tree. This moved the spirit of that buffalo which was in him
and it happened that something came out from the boy's system and
when it cajne out of his mouth it was a buffalo horn. By the sign
language he indicated what kind of plant should he used as incense.
When this was done and the incense was burned, the hoy inhaled it
and the buffalo horn went back into the system of the boy. When
the boy's uncle saw this, he rebuked his nephew and told him he
was very foolish and that a stop had to be put to all of this. Then
the boy told the people to burn some more incense. He inhnled again
and when he did the tip of the nose of the buffalo was expelled from
his mouth - then the feet - and the tail - all singly. The whole
buffalo was not expelled. This marked the termination.
After this had occurred, that night the boy fell asleep
and he dreamed that he was inside of a tent and that he heard the
barking of dogs and the tread of a buffalo coming toward the tent .
The sounds came closer and closer. When it finally arrived at the
tent, the buffalo opened the door of the tent with the tip of his
nose. He told the boy he was doing all this for his benefit. The
boy didn't want to look at the buffalo, but he did upon request.
As he stared at the animal he could see it was wounded. It was
pierced with bullets and arrows until blood was flowing from all
sides. As the buffalo moved toward the boy these arrows and bullets
dropped from his flesh. The buffalo instructed the boy to doctor
his wounds and that thereafter whenever he was injured in battle
he would be able to heal himself. This the boy did. As time passed
after this incident and the boy took part in battles and was wounded,
he did heal himself.
When Foolish Bear's grandfather, who was this boy, grew
old and passed on, he passed the horn on to his son as a token of
sacredness. In turn, when Foolish Bear came to the se;e of 24 years,
the horn was passed over to him. Foolish Bear is now 84 years old
and has had the horn in his possession for 60 years. It is the
moat valued possession of any member of the clan.
Constitution Elections :
December 18 . . . Confederated Tribes of the Warm.. 181 77
Springs Reservation, Oregon
January 12 Kiowa-Apache Tribe of Oklahoma • • 61 62
January 17 .... Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma 316 .... 33
Charter Elections ;
January 7 Reno-Sparks Indian Colony 35 1
January 18 Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma 45 • • « : 12
February 7 .... Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma 25 13
YOUNG YUMA INDIANS SHARE IN VOCATIONAL PROGRAM
WITH OTHERS OF COMMUNITY
At the Colorado River Agency
In Parker, Arizona, a large number of
the older Indian children are in pub-
lic schools. In response to the In-
dian Service emphasis upon training
for life, the state officials have en-
riched the high school program to pro-
vide increased opportunities for agri-
cultural training, shop training and
home economics work. Four-H clubs and
the Future Farmers of America have
drawn Indian young people into member-
On the left is a photograph
of Joe Miguel, a Yuma Indian, who with
a group from the agriculture class of
the Yuma Union High School, took part
in the Future Farmers of America pro-
gram on the Western Farm and Home Hour
in November, which was broadcast from
San Diego, California, in November.
BEETLE TREATMENT OF TRESS AT WARM SPRINGS, HELPED BY FAVORABLE
WEATHER . SHOWS GOOD RESULTS
By Ben C. Kautz, CCC - ID Leader, Old Mill Camp, Warm Springs, Oregon
The cruise for beetle-killed trees on sample check olots has be*n
completed. These check plots are so situated that the results of the spotting
on these plots are indicative of the general trend of "beetle infestation on
the reservation. The cruise showed a considerable reduction in the number of
beetle-killed trees in comparison with the year 1934. This reduction can be
laid partly to the treatment by peel and burning and also to the heavy snows
and cold last winter and to the consequent moisture and summer rains which
tended to make the trees hardier and enabled them better to withstand the
SOME COMMENTS ON THE CCC-ID STUDENT TECHNICIAN PROGRAM
Last summer CCC-ID provided funds for the employment of
student technicians. Young Indians who had completed a year of
college work and who showed aptitude for work on CCC-ID projects
were eligible. Their work varied widely: some served as rodmen
or chainmen on surveying crews; some did topographical mapping and
drafting; some helped in location of truck trails and in timber
survey work; some worked on soil-saving operations and on the con-
struction of impounding dams; others did clerical work.
One student, Leonard Chebahtah, at Shawnee, Oklahoma,
was assigned to the supervision of the recreational and welfare
program. At the Great Lakes Agency, Wisconsin, Robert Dominic
supervised the care of a nursery of a million trees. Daniel L.
Cole, at Flathead, had had two years of forestry work at the Un-
iversity of Montana; however, he was also a capable cook, so when
the combination emergency of a forest fire and a sick cook arrived,
he ran a fire-fighting camp and did a splendid job of cooking.
Their supervisors reported that these student techni-
cians did good work and that most of them showed marked improvement
in their work during the brief period of their employment. The
money earned helped a number of the boys to return to college or
CHAN GE OF AS SIGNMENT
Dr. Arthur J. Wheeler, formerly at the Albuquerque
Sanatorium, has been transferred to the new Sioux Sanatorium at
Rapid City, South Dakota, which is now being prepared for open-
ing in the early spring.
On Page 34 of the February issue, a chart was used
showing the place of cooperatives in Denmark's agricultural
economy. This chart should have been credited to the Foreign
Policy Association, Inc., 8 West Fortieth Street, New York City,
through whose courtesy it was used.
N0TL5 FR.OM WLEKLY PROGRESS REPORTS OF
CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS - INDIAN DIVISION
Good Working Conditions At
Standing Rock ( North Dakota ) The
crew on this project is working with
all the effort that they can muster
and well might they, as the condi-
tions under which they work are
absolutely "tops." The whole proj-
ect is enclosed and heated with
I have a crew of men here that
I will put up against any crew on
the reservation. When they work,
they work, and when they play, they
play. Every man knows his post and
that is just where you will find
them any time from whistle to whis-
tle. Everything runs with clock-
like unison and I don't mean "mebbe."
George W. Clark , Concreteman.
Truck Trail Construction At
Turtle Mountain (North Dakota) The
truck trail on the reservation line
was completed this week. Approxi-
mately 1,000 cubic yards of gravel
per mile was placed on this trail.
Only two miles were finished and
ready for gravel . Donald Flahart ,
Junior Engineer .
Various Activities At Truxton
Canyon ( Arizona) Project E-44 :
The crew was more than doubled last
week on this job and the rip-rapping
of the inside face of the dam is
progressing nicely. The spillway
was shot and the rock is being used
in the riprapping work. Over half
the dam is in place to date.
Project J-110: Work was con-
fined to the installation of cul-
verts, excavating for a cattle
guard and removing projecting
rocks from the wearing surface of
Project B-5 ; The work this
week consisted of pouring concrete
around the front support posts of
the shed; also cutting and install
ing the back studs. Ross Carman ,
Project Manager .
Pence Line Construction At
Cheyenne River ( South Dakot a) We
have finished fence line between
townships eight and nine, making
a total of fifteen miles completed
so far. Starting from the west
line of the reservation, going
east to the northeast corner of
section four, township eight,
range twenty from which point we
are starting south.
A blizzard swept over this
district recently, which delayed
the work for that day. Otherwise,
the weather has been favorable.
We are supplied with a good
grade of posts, 7 feet in length
ranging from 4 to 6 inches in di-
ameter at the large end, which
are sp'aced a rod apart . Earl
Cummings , Senior Foreman .
Canal Drainage At New York
( New York ) The men have accom-
plished more this week than at
any other similar period, because
of the ideal working conditions
which now exist. The ground has
not frozen at all and there is no
The cut at this point is now on
an average of about two and one-half
feet and the snow is ahout two feet
deep in most places. It is a great
help because of the fact that it
keeps the ground from freezing. Jos -
eph P. Tarbell, Camp Manager .
Recreation Activities At Crow
Creek ( South Dakota ) Plans are be-
ing made for a reading room at the
Agency. The room will be made by
putting a partition across in the
east end of the Exhibit Hall, mak-
ing it 14 feet by 32 feet. Here,
it is planned to have magazines and
books that will be of interest to
Our basket ball boys have not
done so well yet, but as one of the
boys put it, "There comes a day."
And we think that after some more
work together, these teams had bet-
ter look out. Frank Knippling .
Soil Erosion Control At Taholah
( Washington ) The river is down to
normal '"again so we have been able
to get further down the river to
reach the jammed regions caused by
high water. There is one region
that will take about a week's work
to clear satisfactorily. Some pretty
large trees, mostly hemlock and
spruce, have lodged in dangerous
places and have to be bucked into
about eight or ten-foot lengths so
that they will not lodge elsewhere.
We haven't had any trout feeds
lately but we have had a few salmon.
One of the boys cornered a salmon in
the mouth of a creek and finally
caught it with a volley ball net.
George Cumm ings .
Basket Ball Team Successful
At Rosebud ( South Dakota ) The CCO
ID basket ball team of Rosebud won
their first game of the season by
defeating the fast-ball- handling
CCC-ID team from Pine Ridge, South
Dakota. More games are being
planned for the boys during the
basket ball season. Toward the
end of the season the boys expect
to enter one of the local indepen-
dent tournaments. Walter Sokolik .
Fire Hazard Reduction At Tongue
River (Montana) The fire reduction
crew burned quite a bit of brush
this week. This place is on Busby
Creek. I think we will continue to
burn brush throughout the winter.
Charles Littensolf .
West Branch Bridge Almost Com -
pleted At Kesheng ( Wisconsin ) The
West Branch Bridge crew has just
about completed their bridge. For
the past week they have been build-
ing the wings on the buttments. The
fills for the approaches will be
made in the spring when the frost
leaves in the ground.
The mapping crew is nearing
the end of the field work for this
year. The snow is too deep for
"good going"; so with the close of
next week, mapping will be discon-
tinued until next fall. Walter
Ridlington , Project Manager .
Fire Hazard Reduction At Sis -
seton ( South Dakota ) The three fire
hazard reduction crews have progress-
ed very nicely. The weather has
been fair . Some of the crews ' pro-
duction has been retarded due to the
steep side-hills where work of this
type and time of the year, makes
progress slow on account of snow on
Each crew has a clean-up man
who follows the worked areas and
gathers up limbs, twigs and rubbish.
He burns this.
There is now cut, hauled and
corded, fifty-eight cords of wood.
Abraham Crawford , Sub-Foreman .
Shelter Over Grand Portage Creek
Bridge Nearing Completion At Con -
solidated Chippewa ( Minnesota ) All
of the crews, during the past week,
have shown remarkable progress on
their respective jobs. This may be
due partly to the extremely mild
weather which we have had for the
past few days, but we believe it is
due mainly because we have tried to
place the men on jobs which they
like, or at which they are most
The shelter over the Grand Port-
age Creek Bridge will soon be com-
pleted. The bridge is comparative-
ly well-protected from snow and high
winds, due to the rough contour of
the land on which it is situated. But
absolute protection from the elements
must be assured, to allow a reason-
able margin of security in the case
of rough weather, for the success-
ful completion of this project.
The President's Birthday Ball
was given ahead of time due to the
uncertain weather conditions which
prevailed- The party was well-at-
tended by the camp boys and the en-
tire community. The party was held
at the Grand Portage School and a
good time was reported by all. The
proceeds which amounted to $28.00
was forwarded to the Warm Springs
Foundation Fund for Crippled Chil-
dren. Leo M. Smith .
Fire Hazard Redaction At Red
Lake ( Minnesota ) Project 185 : The
graveling crew has been graveling
this truck trail and everything is
going along nicely. Good weather
and good luck prevailed throughout
the week. There is some breakage
of trucks on a job of this nature.
Project 16 5: The small crew
of men began trail-side fire hazard
reduction. The progress was good
and one-half mile was completed
during the past week. The truck
with two men are hauling wood from
this project to the camp. Ten loads
of wood were hauled to the camp dur-
ing the week.
Mr. Kreiner, the Agency me-
chanic, spent a day in installing
the woodwork machine in the new
recreation hall. Mr. Okness brought
a truck load of odd pieces of lum-
ber from the Indian sawmill for use
in classes. Mr. Frisby and Mr. Ger-
vais visited the camp and were very
pleased with the camp.
Telephone Maintenance At Navajo
( Chin Lee ) - ( Arizona ) Construction
was started on the seven miles from
Ganado to Lizard Springs. One and
one-half miles of line on the Ganado
end was re-routed and placed along
the new road site which paralleled
the old line route. Brackets were
nailed and holes are being dug.
Carl Bart el , Telephone Foreman .
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION LIBRARIES
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